I recently attended the memorial service of a close family friend who had bravely fought but lost a long battle with illness. What amazed me most at the service was not the number of people who came to pay their respects (although there were hundreds) or the variations in the types of people (she truly touched a lot of different lives). What really ‘got me’ was the photos of this woman that were shared throughout the service. There were so many!
They ran a slideshow of photos throughout the service and there wasn’t a duplication of photos in the entire 3-hour loop. There were pictures of her with her children and grandchildren, spending time with friends, wedding and candid photos of her and her husband, shots of her on vacations to foreign lands, and even shots of her when she was undergoing treatment for her illness. I started thinking about my own life and asked myself some serious questions.
If I died tomorrow, how long would my slideshow be?
I have so many photographs of my family. My phone is filled with evidence of their lives with me but there aren’t that many in which it looks like I am even there. Out of 1,344 photos that are on my phone right now, only 118 of them have me in them. That’s only 9% of my total photos!
It looks like I am only involved in 9% of my family and friends’ lives.
That’s a staggering discrepancy. I mean, I know I am somewhat of an introvert but I am pretty sure I am at least involved in my kids’ lives more than 9% of the time. My six-year-old asks me to wipe his bottom more than that!
I have always been hesitant to step in front of the camera. Having struggled with weight and self-esteem issues my whole life, it’s a fight for me to be in photos of any kind. I was so happy when my oldest son became tall enough to stand in front of me in pictures because now I use him to hide my body. I have no idea what I’ll do when he gets taller than me, maybe start kneeling behind his little brother…
Here’s the thing, though. Looking back at that slideshow of my friend, I don’t remember how much she weighed in any of the photos. I remember noticing the loving look she held for her spouse. I remember paying attention to the amazing smiles she had for her friends. I remember seeing the looks of love and admiration her children and grandchildren had for her and my amazement at all the places she had been. Her life in pictures was truly spectacular and it had nothing to do with her weight.
I want my slideshow to be the same way when I die.
I want people to see my life represented fully in those photos. So, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up!